Why are people against socialism?

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  • #611857

    Why is it considered derogatory to call someone a socialist? I personally think that socialism works on a large scale.

    #998756
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Why is it considered derogatory to call someone a dictator. I personally think that dictatorships work on a large scale.

    #998757
    yose
    Member

    And I think communism works too.

    #998758
    kfb
    Participant

    I work hard for my money, why should the government take it was and redistribute it to ppl too lazy or unwilling to work? The concept of socialism is that everyone’s equal, but were not all equal. In Russia there used to be lines out the door for food using your ration card

    #998759
    squeak
    Participant

    Only one person has to be a dictator for it to work on a large scale. But everyone without exception has to be a socialist for it to work on a large scale.

    That doesnt explain why either is derogatory. It just exaplins why only one statement is correct.

    #998760
    mdd
    Member

    Kfb, tzedokah ve’chesed? To keep people who are unwilling to work on the welfare payroll forever is not good, but sometimes people fall on hard times.

    #998761
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You really wanna talk about this seriously? Then here’s what you need to do differently:

    1. Tell us precisely what you mean by socialism.

    2. Ask the question directly: “why do people dislike or disapprove of socialism”. Don’t ask why people consider it an insult to be called a socialist.

    #998762
    pixelate
    Member

    A professor who never had failed a student in his life just failed his whole class.

    His students had argued with him in favor of social equality, spreading the wealth during a lesson, so he told them he was putting it to test.

    He told his students that he would average off test scores.

    First exam, the A students studied hard as usual, but they averaged B+. The B and C students averaged B

    Second exam, the C students didn’t study because they knew they would average out better anyway. The B students studied as usual, and averaged out B-, the A’s B+ and the C’s C-.

    Third exam, The A’s studied little, the B’s even less, and the C’s not at all. The entire class averaged C-.

    Fourth exam, the entire class averaged F.

    #998763
    akuperma
    Participant

    Socialism is the master tells you what you want, and you are happy with that, because you know that your betters are wise and are making good decisions for you. The sorts of people who liked being slaves or serfs, love socialism. Americans (other than blacks) came to America to have the personal and economic freedom that was always lacking elsewhere. But if you were a happy slave, you’ll be happy as a socialist.

    #998764
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    SecularFrummy,

    Why is it considered derogatory to call someone a socialist?

    Probably because many Americans associate socialism with communism, and the U.S. historically hasn’t had the greatest relationships with communist regimes.

    #998765
    charliehall
    Participant

    Socialism in its extreme form is inconsistent with Torah. But so is laissez-faire capitalism. Both Karl Marx and Ayn Rand were apostate Jews, and their philosophies were directly driven by a rejection of HaShem’s directions for us. Rand in particular would strongly opposed the torah commandments peah, leket, shich’chah, maaser oni, shmitta, or the rabbinic institutions of kuppa and tamchui, and would have been horrified had she known that Rambam codified as binding halachah that anyone not paying the assessment to the poor that the communal government mandated would face lashes! And both Marx and Trotsky both rejected the Torah’s limited permission for individual private property. (It *is* possible that they both would have been horrified by the crimes against humanity carried out by Stalin and Mao; Trotsky was one of Stalin’s victims.)

    More benign forms of socialism, such as in the UK and Israel in the three decades after World War II, actually work quite well. None of the religious parties objected to Ben Gurion’s economic policies and it is highly likely that there would had been massive starvation of poor olim in the 1950s had Israel been a free market economy at that point. Economic disaster came only after the free market oriented Likud came to power and brought hyperinflation. Command economies can also work very well in brief crises such as in the US during both World War I and World War II.

    #998766
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Americans (other than blacks) came to America to have the personal and economic freedom that was always lacking elsewhere. “

    That is not completely true. Most of New England was settled by people who were fleeing religious tolerance in England and the Netherlands in order to set up a theocracy that offered no personal freedoms beyond what the clergy allowed. Maryland and Virginia were also theocracies. There are many documented cases of religious heretics being expelled from settlements, burnings of churches that professed the wrong theology, and even a few executions of heretics. (And yes, Jews were not permitted in five of the original 13 colonies.)

    In addition, every colony implemented a version of England’s 1601 law for the relief of the poor, which is quite similar in many respects to the kuppa that Jewish communities used. Tax rates for poor relief were at times quite high, and the idea that poor people were to be left on their own to suffer appears to be absent.

    #998767
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    When people learn in Kollel all day and take government benefits like Food Stamps and Medicaid, that IS Socialism.

    If you don’t belive in Socialism, Don’t take Food Stamps, Medicaid or Section 8

    #998768
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Because it doesn’t work.

    #998769
    newhere
    Participant

    Charlie-

    Your argument against laissez-faire capitalism doesn’t work. Your “prove” your case by showing that Ayn Rand’s beliefs conflicted with the Torah. Is that all it takes? Just show that anyone who’s ever believed in laissez-faire capitalism disagrees with the Torah and voila you’ve disproved it? Come on, you know better than that. If you want to make your case you have to show how a certain policy is against the Torah, not a person. And the fact that you picked Ayn Rand, who was a philosopher and and not an economist, further shows how disingenuous you’re being. Why not pick Hayek or Friedman if you’re gonna go with the attack-the-messenger approach?

    #998770
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    because they’re anti-social

    #998771
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    newhere – the last half of the fith perek in Bava Basra discusses how laissez-faire capitalism is against the Torah. Ayin Shom.

    #998772
    akuperma
    Participant

    charliehall: If colonists (or later immigrants) weren’t coming here to practice their religion in peace and avoid discrimination for being a member of a religious or political minority, they were someing here to be free of the economic constraints of living in societies where everyone had a place and if you didn’t like your station in life you had very few means to change it. That’s true even of the many founding fathers who biggest concern was avoiding being drawn and quartered as traitors (as they called the losing side in political disputes back then). Of course many were common criminals but they often had a choice, and “transportation” was often preferred because it offered a chance of a new life.

    It’s only in the late 20th century that Europe started to get away from the “manor mentality” of a society in which there was no upward mobility. Socialism largely regulates what you do and what you can become, you become a cog in a machine in which individual initiative is seen as anti-social – and Americans are descended from those who took the initiative to come to a new world to build their own lives.

    #998773
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Socialism is such a fragile system, and suh terrible things happen when it fails, that however wonderful the ideal may be it’s not worth it.

    #998774
    mybrother
    Member

    @SecularFrummy

    you are apparently young and uneducated,

    Learn the history of socialism and the many countries that have tried it.

    #998775
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    People who use Facebook are socialists.

    #998776
    yytz
    Participant

    “Socialism” means different things to different people. But in general, when people in the US say “socialist,” they mean to conjure up associations with Soviet communism, one of the worst dictatorships in the history of the world.

    However, in much of Europe, and the rest of the world for that matter, socialism isn’t a “bad word” — it’s just a term for a political philosophy involving a significant amount of state efforts to reduce poverty, reduce economic inequality, etc.

    In France, Spain and Portugal, for example, the left-of-center parties, which in most cases are not much more to the left than the Democrats in the US, are all called the Socialist Party. In other countries they are called Labor (UK, Israel) or Social Democratic (Germany, Norway), but these parties all tend to be members of the Socialist International (the moderate Socialist international organization of left-of-center political parties).

    Since the founding of Marxist communism, democratic Socialist parties have always distanced themselves from Marxism and Soviet communism, and had vastly different policies. That said, some Democratic socialists have often had some interest in Marxist philosophy, and for that reason are more likely to be atheists. However, since the 19th century, and continuing today, there have been socialists who are inspired by religious and humanitarian motives rather than Marxist philosophy. In fact, this kind of socialism actually predates Marx and Marxism. (Marx hated those “reformist” socialists!) Today, in Israel, all the religious parties are more left-wing on economic matters than the Democrats in the US.

    Personally, I don’t like the word socialism, because it is suggestive of the authoritarian politics that killed tens of millions of people in the USSR and China in the 20th century, and because it denotes a more extreme outlook.

    “Social democratic” is a nicer term, I think, because the only connotations are with countries such as Germany or Netherlands or Denmark, which despite having some economic troubles at times, have always been peaceful and orderly places with the rule of law and civil freedoms. Interestingly, in some aspects the most “socialist” of these countries are actually more economically free than less socialist countries — it’s easier to hire and fire workers, for example, in the Scandinavian countries than it is in the more meager and underdeveloped welfare states of Southern Europe.

    #998778
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Charlie is wrong. Judaism beleives in immmutable proprty rights, but that those rights belong foremost to G-d by virtue of His creating the property. Socialists simply disregard property rights in outright theft. That isn’t the same.

    #998779
    newhere
    Participant

    gavra-

    I’ve learned baba basra before and although I don’t know exactly what you’re referring to it doesn’t matter. Because I’m not gonna pretend that the gemara has a complete free market system. I am well aware that is not the case. But frankly, the gemara’s economic system would not match up to any economic system. The gemara is on the right for many issues, on the left, or neither. (although, I would argue, that on the whole, the gemara is quite the proponent of freedom of contract) For example, which economic system wouldn’t allow interest on loans? My point is that the gemara is God-given law. It is one that is based on more than mere economics. Just like the Torah tells us we shouldn’t eat milk and meat together the Torah tells us we shouldn’t charge interest to other jews. When a secular government is deciding what laws to put in place, just as you would not advocate for them banning the sale of cheesburgers, you shouldn’t advocate for them adopting the Gemara’s rules on monetary issues. There have been many great rabbonim that have been socialists and many who have been pure capitalists, and many in between. One of the most respected Austrian economists today is Rabbi Yisroel Kirzner (israel kirzner in the academic world), who is also a massive talmid chacham. To just come out and say that the Torah is against one view or the other is disrespectful and wrong.

    #998780
    yytz
    Participant

    If I’m not mistaken, Popa believes it is “outright theft” when the government, through the democratic process, decides to tax him, and use part of the proceeds to pay for someone else’s food stamps. We’ve been through this before.

    #998781
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I read this thread in the Kollel Store where the 3 customers ahead of me are using eBt Cards

    #998782
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    When a secular government is deciding what laws to put in place, just as you would not advocate for them banning the sale of cheesburgers, you shouldn’t advocate for them adopting the Gemara’s rules on monetary issues.

    I’m not sure I agree with this. The Torah certainly holds that one must have the “Eipha Tzedek” as stated in the Torah. There also needs to be a system of Dinim and a system of taking care of the poor. The tannaim would “break the market” if needed to allow neccesities to be affordable (see: Rabban Gamliel & Kinim).

    That is not to say that we should all start being Marxists. There is a medium between Rand (who promotes pure Middas Sedom) and Marx (who promotes what the Mishna in Avos 5:10 calls “am HaAretz”), and the question is where that is. Certainly intervention to protect the consoumer in under the catagory of “Eipha” and IMHO is a chiyuv on all Beni Noach (as part of Dinim). Go from there.

    #998783
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I read this thread in the Kollel Store where the 3 customers ahead of me are using eBt Cards

    Charaidi Jews are certainly pro-socialism. Note how the Gedolim complain any time a benefit of some sort gets cut.

    #998784
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    If I’m not mistaken, Popa believes it is “outright theft” when the government, through the democratic process, decides to tax him, and use part of the proceeds to pay for someone else’s food stamps.

    I like the way you say “the government” as if it is an entity independent of the people. It’s especially notable when that is the theory behind your opinion.

    #998785
    newhere
    Participant

    “The tannaim would “break the market” if needed to allow neccesities to be affordable “

    This actually makes my point better than I ever could. When you have tannaim, who are divinely inspired, who can determine what the market price should be, of course we would want them determining prices. But does that mean that modern day politicians can determine pricing better than the market?? How can you make such a comparison?!

    #998786
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The tannaim would “break the market” if needed to allow neccesities to be affordable

    I wonder what that was about. You still end up with the same amount of food–just different people have it or are left out.

    #998787
    charliehall
    Participant

    “When people learn in Kollel all day and take government benefits like Food Stamps and Medicaid, that IS Socialism.”

    Actually that isn’t socialism, it is a generous welfare state. There is a difference.

    #998788

    Mybrother- Although I may be young, I certainly am not uneducated.

    Obviously you had nothing to add to this conversation so you resort to ad hominem attacks.

    #998789
    charliehall
    Participant

    “If colonists (or later immigrants) weren’t coming here to practice their religion in peace and avoid discrimination for being a member of a religious or political minority, they were someing here to be free of the economic constraints of living in societies where everyone had a place and if you didn’t like your station in life you had very few means to change it.”

    And they created an even worse system in America! Every colony permitted chattel slavery, and the early arrivals got all the best land and used that economic power to oppress even the non-slaves.

    #998790
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Judaism beleives in immmutable proprty rights, but that those rights belong foremost to G-d by virtue of His creating the property. Socialists simply disregard property rights in outright theft. “

    The last chapter of Peah describes a system where the government, not through democratic processes, taxes all who have to provide food for those who haven’t. Rambam codifies this system, called a “kuppa” as halachah in Hilchot Matanot L’evyanim, where he also provides that the government can force you to pay and even give you lashes if you refuse.

    That may or may not be theft, but it is certainly a rabbinic mandate in Judaism.

    #998791
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    popa_bar_abba:

    ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ????

    ????? ????? ?? ???? ???????

    BB 166

    newhere: Its not making the price, but recognizing that prices are too high and taking measures to lower it. Think of it as the president waiving the Jones act in the aftermath of a disaster.

    #998792
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Right, so that is the opposite of socialism and central planning. He actually reduced demand, instead of just insisting that the price be lower.

    (And charlie, you apparently didn’t read my post before quoting and replying. Your example is merely G-d reallocating the stuff that He owns, and bears no resemblance to when you reallocate the stuff that I own)

    #998793
    newhere
    Participant

    gavra-

    Not sure where you’re disagreeing with me. A tanna (!) recognized prices were too high and did something about it. So your logic goes that therefore when a politician feels it’s too high, he/she should do something about it??

    charlie-

    You keep using the different example of mandated charity to show the Torah is against pure capitalism. This goes lishitascha that Ayn Rand is the quintessential right wing economist (despite not being an economist), and because Rand was opposed to charity, therefore capitalism is against the Torah. In reality, however, far better examples of quintessential right wing economists are Hayek and Friedman. Both of them were proponents of charity, even from the government

    – “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.”- Hayek

    And remember, Friedman invented the negative income tax. So your criticism is way off base.

    #998794
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Gavra, or paskening l’kula on hadassim.

    #998795
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY: Exactly. Good catch.

    ???? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ?”? ?????? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????:

    newhere & PBA: Putting in measures to reduce demand is not laissez-faire capitalism. What would Mises say about measures to reduce demand (such as sales taxes, or the subsidization of substitutes), or even a government ad campaign against a certain product?

    As before, the right answer is somewhere in the middle. Not laissez-faire capitalism/’rational self-interest’, and not Marxism. Somewhere in the middle.

    #998796
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I wouldn’t extrapolate, though, an entire system based on a few cases in the Gemara.

    Primarily, I wanted to answer PBA’s question about how manipulating the market does anything but change who gets the product. The answer is that by “manipulating” the halacha (within acceptable boundaries, obviously), they were able to reduce demand. The threat of doing so was effective at preventing price gauging (so they did actually force the price down).

    #998797
    charliehall
    Participant

    “merely G-d reallocating the stuff that He owns, and bears no resemblance to when you reallocate the stuff that I own”

    You own nothing. HaShem owns everything. The Rabbis issued a gezerah to require that the things that HaShem had lent to you be lent to a different person. Secular governments do the same thing for hundreds of years — at least since the enactment of the Poor Law in England in 1601 (versions of which were enacted by every colony).

    “far better examples of quintessential right wing economists are Hayek and Friedman”

    I have not criticized Hayek and Friedman. They knew what they were talking about! It is today’s right wingers who are opposing kind measures to help the poor that Hayek and Friedman supported who need to be called out. (In addition to supporting negative income taxes, both supported forcing people to purchase health insurance.)

    “the right answer is somewhere in the middle.”

    Absolutely. My criticism has been directed towards the right wingers because there aren’t many socialists in the frum community these days.

    #998798
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You own nothing. HaShem owns everything. The Rabbis issued a gezerah to require that the things that HaShem had lent to you be lent to a different person. Secular governments do the same thing for hundreds of years — at least since the enactment of the Poor Law in England in 1601 (versions of which were enacted by every colony).

    Right. But it isn’t the same thing. Because you do it simply out of not recognizing a property right, instead of out of G-d reallocating it.

    So I ain’t sure what you’re getting it. You seem to be saying that once G-d owns it, now there are no more rights on earth–which certainly doesn’t accord with anything in the Torah.

    #998799
    mybrother
    Member

    Socialism if for weak people. people who lack the drive and energy for life.

    #998800
    newhere
    Participant

    charlie-

    If Hayek and Friedman aren’t too right wing for you, then you’d be hard pressed to find anyone, certainly in the frum world, who qualifies as too right. Who exactly is opposed to ANY type of charity, even from local government? I know of no one like that. And even if there’s a frum person who believes that, you will never find any frum person who opposes voluntary charity, which Rand opposed. So your attack on Rand to disagree with the “frum right” is a straw man argument.

    #998801
    hudi
    Participant

    Socialism is good when you have a society filled with hardworking able bodied people.

    Socialism is not good when you have a society filled with hardworking and lazy people.

    #998802
    Josh31
    Participant

    Extreme positions on either side of this debate are improper.

    The Torah has obligations to the poor, but not near the levels that socialist idealists dream about.

    Prusbel is an important compromise instituted by Hillel who himself had experienced both poverty and prosperity.

    #998803
    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Charlie-

    By bringing in cases of Rabbinnic enactment to try and show support for your positions I think you are missing a basic point.

    The Rabbonnon derived their authority from the Torah, the laws were passed under the authority of the Torah chifly “Lo Sosur” they were as much “religous laws” in Nature as they were “economic” laws.

    #998804
    Ben Levi
    Participant

    And any unbiased examination of the Gemorah shows an understanding of market forces that may not be exactly in line with Friedman, Hayek or other “capitalist” economists, but is most definetly “philisophically” in tune with them.

    An overarching example would be the law “Shelo Tinol Deles B’Fnei Luvin”.

    The Rabbis understood the great need to ensure that if someone lent money they would be paid back otherwise capitol would dry up.

    Towards that end they enacted numerous law including requiring borrowers to pay back with better classes of land then Biblicaly required.

    Now-a-days we have seen the foresight of the Rabbis, The “left-wingers” on the pretense of pity and saving the economy forced onerous laws, regulations and public humilation on lenders. Leading to the current reality that if a financial institution lends money they are far from assured of the ability to collect.

    The result?

    Capitol Markets have all but dried up for the average person and the economy is stuck in permanent recession.

    And once again the ones who have suffered are not the extreme wealthy, to whom institutions wil always lend (in many cases they themselves own the institutions) rather the middle class who are left without means of access to credit.

    #998805
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Why is everyone against building houses with only the second floor?

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